P.E.I. chef Hunter Guindon wants Islanders to spice up their holiday stuffing with fermented black garlic, and try making a dessert with tofu as a main ingredient.
Guindon is the executive chef at The Table Culinary Studio in New London and loves experimenting in the kitchen.
"Holiday meals are really special for me, especially as a chef who cooks for, you know, thousands of people over the course of the year, to be able to gather with family … and cook what I love to cook for all of them," said Guindon.
One of Guindon's favourite holiday dishes both as a child and an adult is stuffing.
"It's something that everybody in the family always fought over and there'd never seem to be enough to go around," he said.
For his bacon, black garlic, and summer savory stuffing recipe, Guindon cooks the stuffing in a separate pan outside the turkey.
The black garlic is a unique ingredient that you can buy from Eureka Garlic in Kensington, P.E.I.
"It's very slowly roasted over the course of, like, almost a month until that regular head of garlic becomes literally black garlic," said Guindon.
He said the taste is very different from normal fresh garlic.
"They're … these soft, super sweet cloves of garlic that just add a whole other umami dimension to whatever you're using it in."
Moving on to dessert, Guindon's recipe for gluten-free, vegan chocolate tarts may surprise you.
'A quintessential part of Christmas'
The main ingredient in the chocolate custard is soft tofu.
"The richness that the tofu gives it and the super silky mouthfeel, it's almost like the best chocolate pudding that you've ever had," said Guindon.
He said he's had relatives who claim to hate tofu eat the tarts and rave about them.
And the fact that the recipe is vegan and gluten-free means more people can eat it.
"It's easy to please everybody, but it's also one of those dishes that your grandpa that doesn't like vegan food absolutely loves."
Guindon calls chocolate "a quintessential part of Christmas.
"For me, chocolate is something that is absolutely mandatory at a Christmas dinner," he said.
Whatever you may be cooking during the holiday season, Guindon's advice is to not worry too much about the little details.
"Really, everybody is just there to be together and to eat together. And that's the more special part of the meal than the fine details that we often sweat over."